Delos Santos to law enforcers: ‘Step up’ efforts in capturing killers of public servants
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A Cebu City councilor is urging law enforcemers to “step up” their efforts to apprehend those responsible for crimes involving the murder of public servants.
Cebu City Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos vented her concern on the “alarming” killing of elected public officials in and out of Cebu island during a privilege speech she delivered before the city council on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
Delos Santos also urged law enforcement officials to make sure that all needed resources are set aside for aiding these case investigations.
“The ease with which government officials are attacked is deeply concerning and raises alarming questions about the safety and security of all of us, elected officials, perhaps, because of diverse political ideology, but most of all the safety and security of ordinary citizens, without power, influence, or position,” she said in her speech.
Delos Santos brought up the assassination of Manguiao, Asturias village chief Mario Delfin Tundag and his wife, Edna, by still unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants last March 14, 2023.
The couple was shot dead in broad daylight along the national highway in Barangay Poblacion, Asturias, right in front of a public school.
Delos Santos said the attack on the Tundag couple brings to mind the shocking murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, as well as eight others, at his residence last March 4.
“This blatant act of violence against a high-ranking official is a chilling reminder that no one, not even the powerful and the influential, is immune to the menacing grip of terror that seems to have taken hold of our communities,” de los Santos.
Meanwhile, Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera also agreed with Delos Santos, noting that the situation now is “very alarming” as she said that any political instability will also have an impact on Cebu’s economy and, more especially, on its tourism industry.
“The speech of member de los Santos is very timely because yes I do agree that the situation now is very alarming though we are thankful that nothing happened here in the City of Cebu but then when it’s already part of the Cebu Province it also raise some issues considering that we are in one province, one island…people will no longer come to a particular area when violence is prevalent, especially it affected the public officials,” Pesquera told the council.
Moreover, Delos Santos noted how it is unfortunate that some former members of the law enforcement allegedly get entangled with crimes, even of killing political leaders and becoming alleged “goons” protecting government officials.
“As the investigation into governor Degamo’s murder case unfolds, there are speculations of collusion, among the police force. While we must give them the benefit of the doubt, it is troubling to learn that some of our law enforcers may have been involved in enabling these acts of violence,” she said.
“Do not misconstrue me of my belief of the PNP’s sincerity to carry out their motto, which is to serve and protect, because as I speak now, I remain convinced that the majority of our police force consists of respectable men and women who are committed to upholding the law and protecting our citizens. However, if those tasks of defending justice allow for injustice to occur, or if they protect those who protect injustice, our institutions will crumble,” she added.
Delos Santos then asked the council to also send a copy of her speech to the Cebu City Police Office and the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7).
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